Horse of Year show groomed to grow


Next year's Horse of the Year Show will be the first run under a new company which includes the Hastings District Council as one-third owner.

The new Horse of the Year Hawke's Bay company was formed in June with the council, Equestrian Sport New Zealand and Show Jumping Hawke's Bay as the three shareholders.


 


Each shareholder had contributed a $30,000 loan in July towards work for next year's show in March, which will be held at the Hawke's Bay Showgrounds in Hastings, where it started in 1999.

The event was owned by Equestrian Sports New Zealand and the shareholding deal would allow it to assign rights to the new company, to run the show for another 15 years in Hastings, beginning from the 2013 event.

The new company would present for the first time to Hastings councillors today on its 2012/13 financial year and its activity for the first three months of the current financial year.

Its report to the council said planning for next year's event was "well advanced", with about 80 per cent of available trade sites sold in August.

The company hired business consultant Ian Wilmont in July, in a part-time role, to help provide executive support.

Mr Wilmont is the general manager of the Hawke's Bay Helicopter Rescue Trust in Hastings.

Each shareholder had appointed one director to the company, including Hastings Deputy Mayor Cynthia Bowers (Hastings council) and Warwick Hansen (Show Jumping Hawke's Bay).

Greg Gent from Equestrian Sports New Zealand resigned in September and a replacement for him is to be announced.

There were also two independent directors, Cindy Mitchener (marketing and TV expert from Auckland) and Colin Stone (Sport Hawke's Bay chief executive).

Financial forecasts to be presented to the council today showed the event would make a net surplus of $69,000 next year, $47,000 in 2014, $102,000 in 2015, $138,000 in 2016 and $171,000 in 2017.

Councillors would have a chance to ask the organisation about its business plan and statement of intent for the current financial year.

One of its goals would be to increase the number of people attending the event in Hastings and those watching it on various television and media options.

It would aim to elevate the show's standing as the premiere Australasian equestrian show, which currently attracted about 4000 contestants, 2600 horses and around 26,000 attendees to the five-day event.

"The show attracts horses, riders and spectators from all around New Zealand and Australia plus visitors including riders from overseas," the report said.

"The show is a significant contributor to Hastings and Hawke's Bay, it creates employment opportunities and it draws tourists and visitors to the region."

- Hawkes Bay Today

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